The often overlooked link that connects us all

Have you noticed how everything happening around us has something in common? Regardless of whether it is a person walking, or a bird flying, or a breeze blowing, or distant sounds of vehicles, or the whistle of the wind.

All of this is happening in the now. You can add things happening inside you to that list — insights, judgments, emotions, sensations. Have you ever considered for a moment that everything is connected by this moment? In this moment, someone had to drive, a bird had to soar up, and thoughts had to bubble up. If you take away the moment, you take away the link between a gazillion things.

What if all that you know, see, hear, experience, all that complexity is just layers of complexity on top of something really simple. What if that bird soaring above you or that car passing by you, or that thought bubbling up in your head are deep down just this moment. What if all that is just the ripples on the surface of a common ocean. Or branches, twigs and leaves of a tree. At the surface those ripples have variations, character. Those branches and leaves have forms. But it all came from the root.  If you can observe the synchronicity in everything with their own character, you can see how they are all connected by this moment.

Could we simplify our lives by reminding ourselves of this ocean or tree which we are all part of? This moment. Loving attention to it. Instead of remaining in the complexity at the surface. After all, everything is deep down fairly simple. This moment with a gazillion layers of character on it. Those gazillion layers of character are just for the collage, and the real thing is this moment.

Why meditate?

Over 2 and a half years of practicing meditation regularly, in its various forms, I have moved from the initial excitement about this practice to a moderately experienced practitioner that can talk from experience.  First let me clarify that I practiced a few different types of meditation in this duration — vipassana (mindfulness style meditation), yoga, chanting, journalling. But the core aspect of every meditation practice is to connect with the present moment, with kindness and love.

Also I would like to point that my experience may not directly relate to yours. It is a constantly evolving process. In fact, it is nearly impossible to write in words what meditation is about. It is intuitive.

So why meditate?

First and foremost, to connect with the present moment with loving-kindness. This is not the motivation for practicing meditation for many people in the beginning, but as you do it over a period of time you will see the value of each — present moment, kindness and loving intention. This helps navigate every aspect of life, once you get a hang of it. It will become your guidance in everything you experience and do.

Second, to manage stress. You will feel on an average less stressed. More calm and peaceful. But be aware that life will happen, and you won’t be calm and peaceful all the time. But you will be able to find calm and peace more often, regardless of external situation.

Third, to get in touch with your true nature. Growing up as kids, we transitioned from our true nature to being conditioned by society to think, believe and behave a certain way. This in my experience takes some time to get to. Just openness to present moment and intention of being loving and kind, starts a process within you that will help you gradually separate the conditioning from who you really are. And who you really are will also surprise you. You are not even the authentic emotions you always thought you were. There is even more underneath those emotions. But don’t obsess over this. It will reveal naturally in time and experience, as you continue your practice.

Fourth, to appreciate life. Not just your own, but life in general. You will find that you are compassionate to people, to animals. Again this will come with practice.

Fifth, to learn how life functions. Not in a dissecting, science class way. But from an intuitive perspective. Life evolved by itself. It didn’t need dissecting and understanding organs/tissues/cells. You might also get more in touch with your intuition and get an inkling of what it is, how significant it is. It is the most underestimated aspect about life in our modern society. As I remember Jon Kabat-Zinn saying in a presentation “the wisdom does not lie out there, in the east, in the Dalai Lama. It lies in our DNA”.

There might be more. I would love to hear from you.

On letting go of attachments and being grateful

We were born naked and helpless. In no time, life progressed, and we are where we are. We are not here forever. When it is over, we will go just as we came.

Life is an incredibly amazing thing. We can never escape that we are an expression of life. And there should be no reason to escape. That is who we will always be. It is just an illusion when we think we are separate from the rest of life. We forget that something is helping us. It has always been helping us in one way or another. Life itself is helping us. Every experience, every emotion, every thought, every physical sensation, every interaction. We have tried to understand, to take control, but we will never be free from the flow of life. Regardless of the illusion of what we have achieved, or what status we have, we are nothing but it – life.

Life flows. You can never hold on too long. You cannot hold on to happiness nor sadness. Nor can you hold on to control, or social structure. Definitely not hold on to fears too long. But what you can do is love and be grateful and trust in this process. Attachments are a tricky thing. Letting go of attachments does not mean breaking a relationship or changing something externally. It is actually no longer being consumed by whatever fear led to that attachment. We forgot along the way the natural process of life. We forgot to be grateful and loving to every moment. Even the most creative, innovative things we have done, have come out spontaneously. It was life expressing itself.

No matter what, remember that life knows a way, it flows.